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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This was my third cruise with carnival first time on the Triumph and the last my reasons. 1- shower head broken the water was trickling out of the shower head which caused us to have to shower two days in the spa very inconvenient. ... Read More
This was my third cruise with carnival first time on the Triumph and the last my reasons. 1- shower head broken the water was trickling out of the shower head which caused us to have to shower two days in the spa very inconvenient. 2-Room 9266 had a constant water sound that we heard several times a day very annoying. 3-A large section of the ceiling tiles right outside our door was missing which exposed all the insulation ,pipes ,electrical wiring and a very loud mildew ,musty smell very frustrating unless they have fixed it don't book this room. 4- The food wasn't that great on the buffet section they should really look at the menu on this boat and revise it. 5-Toilet got stopped up it took 1hour for the plumber to come according to guest services they only had one plumber available 2,700 passengers and one plumber SMH!!! On a good note Cozumel was beautiful would love to go back there again didn't care too much for Progresso .Guys burgers was good the only night that I enjoyed in the dinning room was on American Southern night .My final thoughts on the Triumph it needs to be revised ,updated , revamped Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
A10 day cruise from New Orleans on the Dawn, the entertainment was great , our room steward was great, the ship in need of repair, which was dry docking after our voyage, the bartenders especially in the atrium ( Bryan ) did not cater to ... Read More
A10 day cruise from New Orleans on the Dawn, the entertainment was great , our room steward was great, the ship in need of repair, which was dry docking after our voyage, the bartenders especially in the atrium ( Bryan ) did not cater to women, when it was our turn, he said go to the cashier, but men could get waited on with a snap :/ could not get waited on at the ice cream bar on Lido deck, only waited on bar traffic , casino machines - quite a few down... Shore excursions were good ....the higher up help seemed a little edgy...maybe try a different cruise next time :/ missed the comedy clubs, our other excursions had comedy clubs every night , I guess that spoiled us , easy getting on & off, we did get a chance to explore New Orleans the night before, one reason we chose this port , but would rather use port of Miami or a Florida port .will never sail from New Orleans again, saw what we wanted ..... Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Last year I was planning to write a review about my bad experience with Norwegian Sun during my cruise to Alaska but later decided not to do it. This year I took another cruise with NCL on Norwegian Dawn to the western Caribbean. It ... Read More
Last year I was planning to write a review about my bad experience with Norwegian Sun during my cruise to Alaska but later decided not to do it. This year I took another cruise with NCL on Norwegian Dawn to the western Caribbean. It was the last trip of Norwegian Dawn before the multimillion dollar renovation and it came as no surprise that the ship was outdated and stained. But my review isn’t going to be about that, just let me mention that we did not use the pool and jacuzzis because they were old and dirty. Hopefully these problems will be fixed during the renovation, so there is no need to mention them. But the renovation project by itself brought up another completely different problem normally not encountered on other ships. NCL decided to save time and money and start renovation during the cruise by performing some work at sea. It was very inconvenient and annoying having piles of plywood stocked on decks, workers removing old paint and repainting, and so on. Some of the passengers reported workers entering their cabins to perform work on their balconies. Lesson learned: do not book a trip on a ship right before it is scheduled for dry dock. Now on to things that can’t be fixed by renovation. First of all, I could not stop comparing this ship to a Norwegian Sun. Even though the Norwegian Sun is smaller than the Norwegian Dawn (78,309 GT vs 92,250 GT) inside, the ocean view and balcony cabins on the Sun are bigger than on the Dawn. Our tiny oceanview cabin was entirely occupied by the bed, leaving us no room for any movement other than going in and out. The cabin service was almost nonexistent. On the sixth day of our cruise we ran out of soap - both hard soap and body wash. We discovered this only when we returned from the offshore excursion, and it took three phone calls to the Help desk and a lot of waiting to get the supplies. The entertainment was boring even compared to the Sun and the TV on board the ship was running same the movies all 10 days. We all know Latitudes Rewards Program is not the best in the industry. For example, as a silver member on Cunard I receive one free hour of Internet, and I do not have to buy any of their Internet packages. As a silver member on NCL I receive only 30 minutes free and only if I buy the 250 minute Internet package. But when I bought the 250 minute Internet package on Norwegian Dawn I did not receive my Latitudes rewards. I tried to talk to several people: the Internet manager, Help desk, and the Hotel manager without any results. The Internet manager I talked to first was very rude and did not listen to my complaint at all. To be objective I should mention a few good things about these cruise. First and foremost the food was not bad at all. We loved the Le Bistro and Modesto restaurants and the food in the main dining restaurant and buffet was OK. Of course buffet could have had more variety, and some improvements could be made, like advising the waiters not to grab plates without asking permission. The ports of calls we visited during this cruise were also good. In my opinion it was a very good combination of exciting destinations to reach in one cruise. But this brings me to another matter often discussed on Cruise Critics and other forums by fellow passengers: not enough time in port. Even when our ship was scheduled to be in most ports from 8 AM until 5 PM the real timeframe for the passengers to be offshore was from 8:30 AM until 4:30 PM. In most ports sometimes even less. This is definitely not long enough to enjoy time offshore in a new port. Sometimes the distance to the next destination dictates a short time period that the ship can stay in port. Not in our case. Four of our ports of calls where in very close proximity to each other, sometimes less than 200 miles (the distance from Costa Maya to Cozumel) but we still did not stay in port long enough. I wish Cruise companies will reconsider their position on this matter. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
DH and I took this cruise to celebrate his semi-retirement. We drove down on Thursday and stayed at LaQuinta in Slidell then got up Friday morning to head to the port. EMBARKATION: it went fairly smoothly. Wasn't impressed with ... Read More
DH and I took this cruise to celebrate his semi-retirement. We drove down on Thursday and stayed at LaQuinta in Slidell then got up Friday morning to head to the port. EMBARKATION: it went fairly smoothly. Wasn't impressed with the staggered check-in service because apparently the workers weren't really paying attention to that. We were on the ship by 12:30. We went to Lido deck for some lunch...was able to get in our cabin by 1:30. CABIN: We originally had an ocean view cabin, but about 3 wks prior to th cruise, we decided to change to balcony. So glad we did! It was nice to be able to sit on our balcony (except when our neighbors were smoking....which is a big no-no!!). Our room steward, Dann, was awesome!! He did ask if we preferred morning service, evening or both. We chose both. DH forgot his extension cord for his c-pap machine and asked Dann if he could find us one. He brought it to our room for us!! He called us by name when he saw us in the hallway. DINING: We chose anytime dining and only went to the dining room once and that was the first elegant night. Seemed to us that the service has gone down.... We ate at other locations on the ship. We did notice that the lido deck/buffet area was dirty...dishes sitting around for long periods of time... This was a great disappointment to us...much different from past cruises... ENTERTAINMENT: CD was ok.... Again, disappointed in the entertainment staff... Very different from past cruises (this was our 5th Carnival cruise). Didn't see the cruise director except at the shows.... Seems like standards have gone down. CREW/STAFF: it was apparent that most of the crew didnt care like they should. In past cruises, if we passed a crew member in the hall, they would at least speak...the ones we saw on this one, never said a word. Our room steward was awesome, but the rest of the crew we encountered was terrible!! I truly believe that the reason is that the tips are automatic.... I've never seen crew members fratanizing with each other like I did on this cruise. One day, I went to the Vienna Cafe to ask about chocolate strawberries...the worker was talking to another crew member and seemed bothered that I even ask!! She said no strawberries that day.. I went back everyday.. The last day she was very rude to me! Then on disembarkation day when the staff needs to do a quick turnaround to get us off and the new guests on, there was a staff member at the breakfast bar that was ver ugly to me!! Let me just say, several folks we came n contact with, said this was the worst cruise as far as the staff was concerned.. SHORE EXCURSIONS: Cozumel----disappointed in this excursion...10 best of Cozumel...the tour guide was not very good at all... Costa Maya----we didn't plan an excursion...but noticed we could rent a golf cart...now that was fun!!! Roatan----- best of Roatan excursion.....very good!!! Belize---- best of Belize.... New excursion.... Very good OVERALL: We are not the type of people that will say "I will never cruise Carnival again!!" We, of course, will. Not sure we will go on the Triumph again though. We are hoping that the poor service was due to short staff, etc. we did enjoy our cruise because we don't let people's attitude affect our trip.... Read Less
Sail Date: April 2016
This was actually two cruises back to back. The first being 11 days from New Orleans to San Juan and the second being 10 days from San Juan to Jacksonville, Fl. Upon reaching Jacksonville, we have now sailed 15 times with Carnival. We ... Read More
This was actually two cruises back to back. The first being 11 days from New Orleans to San Juan and the second being 10 days from San Juan to Jacksonville, Fl. Upon reaching Jacksonville, we have now sailed 15 times with Carnival. We had never sailed from New Orleans and had never sailed on the Elation. We took this 'Journey Cruise' because of the itinerary with several ports we'd never been to. Embarkation was fairly smooth. At our muster drill, we had our first experience with the most irritating Cruise Director we ever had. The muster drill drug on much longer than any we've ever participated in before. Hennie, the CD, has multiple personalities that he voices throughout the drill...giving the directions in crazy accents. We were to discover that his 'voices' would continue throughout the entire 21 days. Following the muster drill, we went up on deck to find a good seat to watch the sail away. We waited and waited and waited, not knowing why we weren't leaving. Finally, two hours into the wait, the CD comes over the PA and tells that we're delayed because 'they're still loading food'. We actually sailed 2 1/2 hours late. We've never experienced a late departure like that. And I find it hard to believe that we were delayed because they were still loading supplies. Carnival has that down to a science. Due to a medical emergency that required diverting the ship to Cozumel. As we were already 2 1/2 hours behind, we arrived at our first port 4 1/2 hours late. The itinerary for the cruise was very nice and we discovered several spots that we want to travel back to...but not on the Elation. We had YTD and our first experience in the dining room was very disappointing. Service was very slow and disorganized. We found the food to be pretty mediocre. In fact, overall, the food was disappointing on this trip. Certainly not up to the level that we've experienced in the past with Carnival. As Platinum members, we attended the VIFP cocktail party..which has been whittled down to 45 minutes. This was vastly different than those we've attended in the past. It was very difficult to get a drink. The waiters would sail past a table full of people with their trays and not stop. The snacks offered were nasty sushi. One example of their poor organization is that prior to the cruise, someone from Carnival came onto the CC Roll call and announced that Carnival was now hosting M & Gs on the ships. We were instructed as to how to sign up for it so they would know how many people to expect and they would announce the time and location in the Fun Times on board. We followed their directions. We did, indeed, see the announcement and a large group of us showed up to the specified lounge and found 3 pitchers of ice water for refreshments..and not a soul from Carnival. Thanks to one of the young men in CC group who got on his computer and started trying to contact someone, they did reschedule it as a 'Farewell' meeting and provided some juice, tea and a tray of cookies. Hennie the Cruise director and one officer did attend for a few minutes. The main shows were not up to par, either. I don't know if it's the 'Journey Cruise' format, or what, but we did not enjoy them and after a try or two, did not attend them. We did enjoy the assortment of comics that came on to perform in the Punchliner lounge. We caught as many of their shows as we could. We had an outstanding room steward, Rosella, and can't say enough good about her. We really appreciated all she did for us. Once we arrived in Jacksonville, Fl, the debarkation process was horrible. As Platinum passengers using the easy debarkation method, we were directed to the theater to wait for our luggage number to be called. We had #3. We all sat in that theater for hours waiting for information. The PA announcements were not being directed into the theater and we scarcely saw a crew member that could relay information. It was almost noon before we were allowed off the ship after docking at 8:30 AM. I will say that we loved the itinerary and appreciate all the wonderfully friendly crew members on board. However, this trip left us very disappointed in Carnival and not interested in sailing on the Elation, again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2016
We decided to take our 7 kids with us on this trip for their first cruise. The kids activities and the teen club was AMAZING! They had wonderful staff and activities that kept them entertained and always wanting to return. The only ... Read More
We decided to take our 7 kids with us on this trip for their first cruise. The kids activities and the teen club was AMAZING! They had wonderful staff and activities that kept them entertained and always wanting to return. The only negative to the kid's club was that, for some reason, many of the activities that my husband and I wanted to attend together without 3-year-olds i.e. dance classes, bingo, game shows, trivia, etc. all seemed to be during a time when the kids club was closed for lunch and dinner, so we mainly just went to dinner and shows while they were there. Our room and steward were the worst that I have encountered in 10 years of cruising. When we arrived, the room was covered in stickiness, like someone had been partying in it and spilled drinks everywhere. There were tags that people had ripped off their new clothes thrown around and holes in the linens and dust ruffles on the beds. It looked as if it had not been thoroughly cleaned since the last occupants left. We called housekeeping and they immediately came and cleaned the room. We were constantly finding a card that said that they could not turn down or make up our room because there was a do not disturb sign on the door when we did not put it on there. We had to constantly ask for things like breakfast cards, beach towels, towels, etc. and then we would be told someone would be bringing them right away, but they would never come. It took about 4-5 calls for each item. Overall, this is just not what I expected from housekeeping on a cruise ship. The food in the main dining room was great. It was better than the last two Norwegian cruises that I had been on. The buffet was ok, but we mainly just went there with the kids. They loved the kids buffet and dining section. The shows on this cruise were really terrible. We enjoyed the comedy show, but the others were very cheesy and weird. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Sailed on the Dawn from NOLA on March 13, 2016 with my wife. Ports were Cozumel, Belize, Rotan Bay, Costa Maya. This was my first cruise and after sailing it won’t be my last good Lord willing. First let mention the staff on the Dawn ... Read More
Sailed on the Dawn from NOLA on March 13, 2016 with my wife. Ports were Cozumel, Belize, Rotan Bay, Costa Maya. This was my first cruise and after sailing it won’t be my last good Lord willing. First let mention the staff on the Dawn could not have been more helpful or courteous, they really made us feel like part of the family. A few honorable mentions were our Cabin Steward Winshor who made us feel very elite, he always met us with a smile and asked if we needed anything. Winshor’s towel creations were awesome and a welcome site on returning in the evening to our cabin. Hanno Meyer our Concierge who is from Germany was extremely informative and eager to always make sure we had what we needed. Meeting him each night at the Stardust Theater, where he had us reserved seating, was a joy. In fact we showed up early just to have a conversation with him. Our Butler Henry was always around to get anything we wanted or answer questions, his pizza delivery to us on the balcony was truly a treat, those finger sandwiches and fresh fruit each night were truly a treat. Richard the cruise director and staff always had something going on to entertain you. We saw seven shows that in my opinion were all along the quality of the shows you see in Branson, thoroughly enjoyed seeing them. We had the specialty dining package and were able to eat daily breakfast and lunch at Cagney’s. The food was all good, favorite was the Italian and my least favorite was the Brazilian Steak House. The ship was very clean and well maintained. I saw some signs of use but the Dawn is due for a dry dock overhaul in May 2016. Excursions included Dolphinaris Trainer Program (Cozumel), Starfish Island Beach Break (Belize), Maya Key (Roatan) and Beach Break Getaway (Costa Maya). All the excursions were great Dolphin Trainer program in Cozumel was a highlight, as well as Maya Key was great. I have read many negative comments about the Dawn but from my experience I saw none of the negatives, and have nothing but positives to say. The only negative was that the cruise wasn’t long enough Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This was a very good cruise (March 6, 2016). This was my 5th NCL cruise and the first for my 18-yr-old son. It was just a "guy's" cruise so we opted for an inside cabin on deck 10 and it looked EXACTLY like the photos on the ... Read More
This was a very good cruise (March 6, 2016). This was my 5th NCL cruise and the first for my 18-yr-old son. It was just a "guy's" cruise so we opted for an inside cabin on deck 10 and it looked EXACTLY like the photos on the NCL website. It was functional with plenty of storage for two. The beds were always made up promptly and we always had fresh towels. It was also very quiet and dark. Good thing we brought our own travel clock and nightlight. The Cruise Critic Meet & Greet could have been better attended. We had about 80 people signed up but only 24 showed up. Merci Angeles was the NCL Dawn Group Services Coordinator and she had everything prepared for us. The ship's officers were there promptly at 11 AM and each spoke to us. Alain Magnier, the Hotel Director, took over and gave us some interesting insights as to what the refurbishment would entail. We ate breakfast at the buffet each morning except one. There were lines but nothing we couldn't deal with. I would suggest they come up with a better system for doing omelettes and egg orders. They should have more than one or two pans available. That being said the food was always good and hot and there was plenty of variety. We ate dinner twice in the buffet and it was good as well. We saw all the shows with the exception of the "Showdown" and each was entertaining and short enough to hold our interest. I even saw the Second City show twice along with their afternoon workshop and their "adults only" show in the Spinnaker lounge. Great fun. The production shows, Jacka and Maria and David DaVinci were also very entertaining. The Venetian main dining room was easy to get into and the food was very good. I ate at Bamboo alone one night and enjoyed my meal. My waitress was especially helpful and cheerful. We also ate at Teppanyaki one night. It was in a small "cozy" part of Bamboo but still enjoyable. I felt guilty that I couldn't finish all of my fried rice and filet mignon. Even though this was an early "spring break" cruise we encountered no problems with the college students. I saw no excess drinking or rowdy behavior. We never wanted for lounge chairs so that was not an issue. We did enjoy our afternoon ice cream by the pool each day. I had been on this itinerary twice before so there were no surprises for me. My son and I had our catamaran snorkeling trip canceled in Cozumel due to an impending storm. We took a taxi to the other side of the island and ate lunch at "Rastas". We made sure the taxi would came back for us as there are seldom any waiting on that side of the island. On the island of Roatan we went Ziplining with South Shore. Afterwards we went to West End beach were my son surprised me by going parasailing for the first time. I waited on the beach for his return. In Belize we went cave tubing with "Butts Up". It's not the most exciting excursion but it is something different and fun to do. Bear in mind there is a pretty good hike over small, round rocks through part of the jungle and you carry your tube. It can also get a little warm. Be sure and wear some old tennis shoes, sandals or water shoes. Water shoes are also available for rent. As was mentioned by "sabrocker" we could not dock in Costa Maya. We had reservations for lounge chairs at "Tropicante" in Mahahual. I emailed Steve when we got home and he said they had 7 ships by-pass them in 3 days last week. Outside of waiting over 45 minutes to get a drink in the casino on the last night I have no complaints regarding the crew, the food, the shows or anything else connected to this cruise. But while I'm thinking about it I would like to mention that I could not get a waiver for my son so he could enjoy beer or wine with me. Since we have different last names they would not accept my word that I was his guardian. Be forewarned. The line to disembark was a little backed up but it eventually moved along. All in all it was another great NCL cruise. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
I will start off with the only positive about the Carnival Dream. They have on sea days a late breakfast in the tacky dining room from 8am-1pm. Do not go on this cruise if you do not smoke. Casino and night clubs are full on smoking but ... Read More
I will start off with the only positive about the Carnival Dream. They have on sea days a late breakfast in the tacky dining room from 8am-1pm. Do not go on this cruise if you do not smoke. Casino and night clubs are full on smoking but you can start to smell it 2 floors up from the casino. We had a shower curtain that sat in the sloppy soap scum in our shower because the drain never fully drained. Balcony's are too small. Drinks are really over priced and the drink packages have so many restrictions on them. Boat is overall ugly and tacky looking. You would never know this boat is only around 5 years old, very worn out already. paint chipping off the balcony. Pizza and other garbage laying in the hallways in the mornings after the drunks left it there. Room service menu looks good until you discover that you have to pay for the good stuff, they only offer the sandwiches for free. Buffet is really bad food. We went there the first night because they mixed up our dining time, so we were there around 6ish. And the buffet was closed . They had some cold spaghetti and buns we ate. There is so much more better cruise lines out there. I recommend Celebrity. It's just as cheap and they offer usually free alcohol with it....... Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
First day embarkation horrible. Stood in line way to long. Contact Carnival on how to do this. Food first day I will say was good,but after that downhill. Food was cold,eggs were cold grits were cold hamburgers raw. Thursday I ate a salad ... Read More
First day embarkation horrible. Stood in line way to long. Contact Carnival on how to do this. Food first day I will say was good,but after that downhill. Food was cold,eggs were cold grits were cold hamburgers raw. Thursday I ate a salad and few hours later I was in the bathroom. I had food poisioning , and missed my shore excursion because of being sick. Shore excursion manager, you see he gave me no respect so he gets none in return. How he is in this position I have no idea. Told us if we had a problem go to the dock and talk to the people. I booked my excursions with NCL. Stupid me for thinking NCL would help. We were lied to about an excursion. We were not the only people having issues. There were some highlights Lawson was a waiter excellent, and our steward Alvin was fantastic , an Asian lady in the Pearly Kings was excellent also. That's it that's it no one else. I won this cruise from the Hard Rock Casino. I upgraded to a suite,I wasted my money. People beware, especially booking shore excursions with NCL. My husband booked a shore excursion on board with his sail card. We do not use the same charge card,yet I was billed for an excursion. We asked for our gratuities back,as we tipped who we felt needed tipping. We were told we need to ask NCL for our money back,may take up to two weeks. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
First off I have no idea why I see people complaining about this boat when I see some of the reviews here. Embarkation went very smoothly. We arrived at 11 and got on at 12:00 I believe. No problems at all. I actually think NCL has ... Read More
First off I have no idea why I see people complaining about this boat when I see some of the reviews here. Embarkation went very smoothly. We arrived at 11 and got on at 12:00 I believe. No problems at all. I actually think NCL has improved quite a bit since my last sail with them several years ago. The main dining room meals is one thing I can certainly say has vastly improved. Several years ago we did go to the upcharge restaurants because we could not find enough items we wanted to eat, this time around it was the exact opposite. If anything, it was more difficult to actually make a decision on which items we wanted to eat, and often times we selected multiple appetizers. The service and food quality I feel have definitely improved so kudos to them in the changes they are making. I believe his name was Hendri in the Aqua dining room whom we had several times did a fantastic job and was very friendly. We were in cabin 11168, mini-suite. Our room steward was Mark, and Mark did a fantastic job and had a wonderful personality. While this ship is showing some signs of age, everything is still in above average condition and we enjoyed our cabin and balcony. We only went to one show, this really isn't our thing. Jokka & Maria the dance and Cirque type show was very good. We thought they did an excellent job. We took 3 excursions with NCL and all went very smoothly. I would highly recommend the Dolphin Encounter in Roatan. We also did the Fury Catamaran Snorkel & Beach break in Cozumel which is great for the price, and the Becab Eco Park Horse Ride which was really enjoyable as well. There was quite a diverse age group on board with children as young as infants, to a few college age groups, some in their late 20's and early 30's, but the largest group was the 40-60 year olds I would say. We had the Ultimate Beverage Package, and that is a really great deal. I know its a promotion now, but having that was fantastic! I hope this promotion comes around more often. Again all and all with this being my 3rd trip on NCL, I am a very satisfied cruiser. We will definitely be back with them again. Keep up the hard work NCL, your improvements are showing! I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone considering it. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Our last cruise with NCL was on the Getaway out of Miami. Even though it's a new ship with some nice features like outside bars and dining on the promenade, we felt like sardines in many places, especially trying to find a deck chair ... Read More
Our last cruise with NCL was on the Getaway out of Miami. Even though it's a new ship with some nice features like outside bars and dining on the promenade, we felt like sardines in many places, especially trying to find a deck chair or squeeze into the gym. The Dawn never felt as crowded, so we preferred it. We had booked a balcony then got an e-mail upgrade offer for suites at the typical 1/2 price deal. We upgraded for $750 each and found it was worth every penny. We read other reviews that said they NEVER turn down an upgrade offer, and we have to agree now. Concierge led private embarkation, incredible penthouse suite with large balcony, super nice bed and linens, small dining table for 4 and a double vanity bath with full sized tub AND shower with enough towels for a large family. The high end Lavazza espresso machine was a huge surprise and saved us probably $140. Also, we loved the private dining for breakfast and lunch in Cagneys, which is only for the suite passengers. The food is much better, there is great service and a much classier atmosphere with the concierge, Hanno, right there. We told Hanno that taking the suite upgrade was going to make it very hard to ever go back to a standard balcony room. He said that was the idea of the offer!!! Over all, service was good in the other restaurants and bars with a couple of exceptions where bar staff seemed either indifferent or just plain lazy. The lines seemed excessive at most, so we ended up hanging out with several other guests in the Star Bar next to Cagneys where the service was top notch and the noise level much more tolerable...well except for us maybe! You will be thoroughly entertained and treated like a king if Aaron from Saint Lucia is the server there! The pool area is for those who like very loud music all day long, so we avoided it most of the time. It seems the entertainment has improved. The comedy troupe from Second City were very entertaining. Some of the music shows were good with a few flat spots. The couple doing the aerial acts were superb and a crowd favorite. The magician was so so. Cozumel is a nice older town to walk around with very little tourist "hustle" from the merchants, at least after you wind your way around the mandatory shopping area. Get out to the street and go to the left or east. It was our first time in Honduras and we don't normally like organized excursions, so on the recommendation of our Concierge, we took a taxi with some cruise ship friends to the West End. What an incredible, small beach town! We thoroughly enjoyed our day wandering around there and would go back in a heart beat. I could easily see this town used in some kind of a crime novel full of Americans hiding from something! We liked it enough to maybe return for a weeks stay in the future. We were not expecting much in Costa Maya after reading other reviews, but sadly, most of those people never left the port shops! There is a very nice 2 mile, tree covered walk in the median of the main street into the village. Then there is a mile long concrete malecon along the beach. It's a beautiful beach with tons of bars and restaurants, most very reasonable. Very friendly and safe. It is not just a make believe port town. We saw some families with small children and several well tanned expats who looked like they had been there a while. The cab ride back was about $5.00. I think it is a good move for NCL to change the itinerary away from Belize City in the near future. There just isn't much there to see or do in a third world city like that. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This was my 2nd cruise ever. Chose this cruise because of the departure location and time of the year. Wanted something warm. The ship was confusing to me even though it was smaller. Had to go up and down stairs too often and this is ... Read More
This was my 2nd cruise ever. Chose this cruise because of the departure location and time of the year. Wanted something warm. The ship was confusing to me even though it was smaller. Had to go up and down stairs too often and this is hard with both knees having been replaced. Dinning experience in Aqua left a lot to be desired on my first two visits. I brought this to the supervisor's attention and had a wonderful third experience. Buffet worried me because the food was always cold. Entertainment was a lot of fun but it seemed like I needed to be in two places at one time. My cabin served my needs well. The stewardess Dyral was a delight. She anticipated my needs and had met them without being asked. Got the ultimate beverage package before leaving on the trip. This was a huge waste of money as it did not cover even the water in the room. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Unexpectedly, I was on crutches for this cruise. Everyone was so kind! Our wonderful steward (cabin attendant?) was great about keeping our cabin supplied with ice, which I needed for my knee. The ship was beautiful, the food was great ... Read More
Unexpectedly, I was on crutches for this cruise. Everyone was so kind! Our wonderful steward (cabin attendant?) was great about keeping our cabin supplied with ice, which I needed for my knee. The ship was beautiful, the food was great and plentiful. The only disappointment was the chocolate dessert night. These were the only bad desserts the entire cruise! The staff was very attentive, bussing tables, replenishing flatware, everything. The entertainment was not to our taste but that doesn't mean it wasn't good, just not our style. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2016
My wife an I are retirees who love cruising and were on our twenty fourth cruise, the fifth on NCL, the first on Dawn. We traveled to New Orleans by car from Tulsa, Oklahoma and stopped overnight in Beau Bridge, Louisiana, the ... Read More
My wife an I are retirees who love cruising and were on our twenty fourth cruise, the fifth on NCL, the first on Dawn. We traveled to New Orleans by car from Tulsa, Oklahoma and stopped overnight in Beau Bridge, Louisiana, the "Crayfish Capitol of the World". We had a great crayfish dinner and enjoyed the quaint shopping are in the town. We then traveled on to NO to enjoy a couple of days in the French Quarter. New Orleans is a great city with great restaurants and a unique culture and entertainment. We stayed at the Country Inn and Suites on Magazine, a hotel created out of four historic building in the downtown section of the city just off of Canal Street and within a short walk to the Quarter. Our car was checked in to a garage near the port and transportation was provided to the hotel and later on the embarkation day we were picked up and transported to the pier. Embarkation was quick and smooth, and we were on our way. As we were making our way down the Mississippi we headed for the Spinnaker Lounge for a Bon Voyage drink and to watch the NFL semifinal game showing in the lounge. NCL needs to hire have cruise staff that understand the needs of their clients and American culture for US based cruises. With less than four minutes of play left in the game an NCL staff member told everyone that they would have to leave the lounge so that they could prepare for Trivia. There was standing room only in the lounge at the time and this ignited an immediate uproar. Everyone refused to leave with three minutes and thirteen seconds left on the clock. The staff then proceeded to enforce their will on the guests and pulled the plug on the game. The reaction from the guests was, as you might expect, outrage. People were on there feet yelling "NO!". The NCL employee at the front of the room was going to do it her way even in the face of all the uproar. The staff could not have found a more effective way to make so many guests, so angry in such a short time on the very first day of their cruise if they had wanted to. I guess that NCL feels that their will supersedes the pleasure of their guests. It was very clear that the guests wishes were secondary to keeping the schedule from slipping a few minutes. So much for customer service. The cabin was nice but very small and crowded. There was little space for storage of our luggage as there was a set of bed springs stored under one side of the bed. After registering a complaint with the customer service desk they finally removed the springs the following day so that we had room to store our luggage. Our experience with the dining venues on the ship were mixed. The Venetian main dining was elegant and the food and service was good. The second main dining room was much more Spartan than the Venetian and we chose to pass on it even though the menu offerings were identical. We ate at four of the specialty restaurants and had mixed experienced. La Bistro (French) was excellent, while the Italian restaurant was nothing to rave about. The Brazilian restaurant had a very good salad bar but the brazed meats were not flavored to my taste and served warm not hot. Our experience in the Japanese restaurant was also mixed. The show was fun and the clams were great but calamari and shrimp were tough. All in all I wouldn't spend extra for the specialty restaurants with the exception of La Bistro. We did not try Cagney's Steak House. We scheduled all of the restaurant reservations on line before the cruise and changed two reservations on the ship. Reservations were on time and seating fast and easy. The buffet restaurant was average in our cruising experience but the table arrangement lacked the usual variety available on most cruise ships. The professional entertainment was excellent but we were disappointed with the slim offerings in the lounges. We were looking forward to some ballroom dancing but found none. The lack of bar staff surprised us and I usually had to go to the bar and stand in line to get a drink. I never ran into that before. We enjoyed all of the ports we visited. We made all of our own port arrangements as we have been to all of them multiple times and know where and where not to go. For Belize we made arrangements for a cave float and zip line tour with a local operator. Great fun! For each of the other ports we relaxed at our favorite beach spots. Debarkation went smoothly except that the carnival parades made entrance to the port for vehicles difficult and exit from the port slow. That was to be expected in the run up to Mardi Gras. We found NCL Dawn to be disappointing compared to our past cruises on the line. We are planning another cruise for July but have switched our plans to another line that we have found puts their customer's wishes first. Bon Voyage NCL!!! By the way, NCL no longer cashes American Express Travelers Checks which we usually bring on cruises along with credit cards to avoid carrying a lot of cash. If you plan to travel on NCL bring cash. Again, less customer service. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This was my family's third cruise on CCL. The first two were on the Conquest. I am not a very social person, so I was a little concerned about this ship holding 3600 passengers. I have read many people's reviews that claimed ... Read More
This was my family's third cruise on CCL. The first two were on the Conquest. I am not a very social person, so I was a little concerned about this ship holding 3600 passengers. I have read many people's reviews that claimed there was not enough room on this boat, etc... but I felt like there was plenty of space. Yes, there were times when it is crowded - but nothing more than I would expect on a cruise. Compared to the Conquest, I liked this ship a lot more. The decor was nicer, and the overall layout was more useful. We live in Alabama, so we drove to New Orleans. I am not crazy about the parking deck, because it is usually mass chaos getting into it since there is so much going on at the port - but we survived! CCL has recently begun having you choose check in times (to help with embarkation). The time we chose was 10:30. Once parked, we made our way to check in. It was 10:20 and we were asked to wait until our time - which was only 10 minutes. We then quickly moved through security, etc. By 11:15, we had completed check in, had our sign and sail cards, and was waiting on boarding. I personally do not think that going through security, check in, etc.... for three people, one being a child --- in 45 minutes was that big of a deal at all. We considered purchasing the Faster to the Fun, but decided against it. Maybe if we had an itinerary that included a tender port, we might have - but we did not. Based on our time arriving, etc. - we were in group 2 to be called to board. Once CCL started calling groups, it moved fairly quickly and we were soon on the Lido deck for sail away lunch. Based on what I observed, the Faster to the Fun people got on the ship about 10 minutes before our group 2 did. Entertainment: First off, we do not gamble - so other than telling you the casino (which is on deck 5) ALWAYS smells like cigarette smoke and is loud - my review will not help much. Singers - some were OK, some were boarder-line bad. We did not go to every club or sit in the atrium and listen, but just in moving around the ship to get to hear several genres. I was not impressed. Art auctions/ Bingo/ Misc. trivia contests - this is not our thing. We do not go on cruises for these type activities so I can not review. Shows in the theater: We saw part of one which was OK. Not the best, but not the worst. It was entertaining. We did go to a Towel Animal Theater (since it mentioned it was written by the folks who did Avenue Q)... and if you have young children, I am sure they would enjoy. Parents and children over 7 or 8 - not so much. Comedy club: We saw three different comedians. All three were funny (one being much better than the other two) and were enjoyable. We attended both the family and adult only shows. We loved the Burgundy Lounge where the comedians performed, but was not crazy on how it was run. The shows are only 30 mins each and they alternate comedians. One night, it was crazy ad once one comedian is done, they make you clear the lounge and go get in line at a side door in the piano bar (next to the lounge). I understand somewhat - so everyone can get a chance to see the show, but it was insane. Very crowded with people entering the show, leaving the show, patrons of the piano bar, and the zillion photo booth options. I would highly suggest for CCL to re-evaluate. Maybe move the comedians to the main theater or let people stay seated for each set. Dining: We chose anytime dining and was assigned to the Crimson Dining Room mid ship. Overall food quality did not seem to be as good as the Conquest. We ate in the dining room 5 of the 7 nights. On four of those, we had excellent service and one one - just ok service. There is some decent option for the dining room, some better than others. The other two nights we opted to go elsewhere. Breakfast - not really big for my family. We grabbed a few things on the buffet on the Lido Deck. I know from past experience, having breakfast in the dining rooms are better - but we did not want to waste the time doing that. Food was just OK. It is very crowded and the selection minimally changed (meaning one morning of the 7 days they had ham instead of bacon). The majority was the exact same thing every day. Lunch: We had the BBQ on the Lanai twice. It was OK, but seemed awkwardly handled by the staff. We had burgers or hot dogs off the grill (NOT Guy's like on other boats) and the flow seems a little backwards. Example, you get your plate, then there is a place for kraut, relish, mayo, etc; then an area for fries; then an area with cheese and chili; then hot dogs and hamburgers. If you look at the order, it was hard to put a hot dog or hamburger together without reaching over people or going back in line to add items. Hot dogs never seemed hot enough to me. The Lido buffet - just OK. Some things were OK, some were pretty bad. We did not try the Mongolian Wok or Thai place. The Pasta Bella was just OK. The pizza place was good if you want pepperoni only (not our family) and was heavily used. The deli was OK - I found it depended on the cook (strange since it is only sandwiches). on how they tasted. Highly suggest the burrito bar. Always delicious. Disembarkation was OK. My only issue is once you are out of the terminal, CCL should have some people working to help guests get cabs, get their cars, where to stand, etc. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2016
My wife and I travelled with my brother and his wife on the 11-day out of NOLA. Check in was the most efficient and expedient that I have seen after 8 cruises from NOLA. On the boat and our room was not ready, although we had a Grand ... Read More
My wife and I travelled with my brother and his wife on the 11-day out of NOLA. Check in was the most efficient and expedient that I have seen after 8 cruises from NOLA. On the boat and our room was not ready, although we had a Grand Suite. Over the years, we have seen an erosion of service and amenities with Carnival and were not surprised as our expectations have been adjusted with time. We met our attendant, Camelia, and she took great care of us throughout the cruise. Had a nice lunch at the Wok, explored the boat a bit, had dinner in the forward dining room and spent an otherwise leisurely first day. My wife and I both use CPAP devices and did not realize that the wall outlets by our bed were E 220v and I had no adapter or converter. Someone came and ran an extension cord from the dressing room, along the ceiling and then behind the bed. Unsightly, but it worked. We were in a Grand Suite and could not understand how there is a mix of US 110v and E 220v outlets throughout - made no sense to us. Should be one or the other. Two sea days relaxing with nothing significant to report and then arrived at Grand Turk at 2 pm. Nothing much for us to see there since we are restricted from watersports. Went to Margaritaville and bought a t-shirt from the Turks and Caicos ASPCA - glad to see they are promoting these causes at the ports. Another sea day and then Aruba - took a private tour of the island which was enjoyable. Next stop Bonaire - took another private tour and enjoyed the salt flats and history of the island. If you are there, ask for Simone Wackenhut - very good tour guide. Also, the local crafts market is very good and has quality, local made items. Another sea day and a dinner trip to the Steakhouse. As usual, excellent service and food. Next was St Kitts - we took the bus/railway tour and really enjoyed it and would recommend it to any age group (I posted a review of this on Trip Advisor). that evening, my wife and I experienced the Chefs Table (our second time) and, as expected, had a great evening. Next stop Antigua - private tour of the island and lunch at OJ's (also a review on Trip Advisor). Last stop St Maarten - we were looking forward to plane-spotting at Maho beach, yet we could not stay since Captain Bobo said the seas were too rough to dock safely, although there were 4 other cruise ships docked with no problem. You can justify anything with the claim of "safety is our No. 1 priority". Another fantastic sea day. Landed in San Juan the next day, stayed over and flew out the following day. All in all, we had a good cruise, saw some new islands and enjoyed the company of our fellow travelers. Pros: quick check in, cabin steward (Camelia), dining room waiters (JJ & I Putu), room comfort, my wife being able to see "Young and the Restless" on sea days, most of the friendly staff, the new ports of call and the SeaDay Brunch. Cons: Mostly the continued erosion of service and amenities. Our first of 8 cruises was in 2002, we always have booked the Grand Suite/Cat 12 and now believe we are approaching a "new reality". We are still trying to figure out what the Maitre D' is there for. Our guy rushed around like he was making a Toyota commercial and was on his phone most of the time, but we cannot understand why as all diners are seated, everything is moving okay. It's like this guy was working Commanders Palace. Although we were Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
CARNIVAL DREAM REVIEW Our Carnival Dream cruise was an eleven plus ten day back to back Caribbean cruise in January 2016. The pricing of this cruise was our main reason for travelling since we have done similar itineraries in the past. ... Read More
CARNIVAL DREAM REVIEW Our Carnival Dream cruise was an eleven plus ten day back to back Caribbean cruise in January 2016. The pricing of this cruise was our main reason for travelling since we have done similar itineraries in the past. If you are looking for a inexpensive cruise which focuses on suntanning, beach activities, adequate food and drinks, the ship delivers. If you are looking for a Princess or Holland America or Royal Caribbean experience you will be sorely disappointed. In fairness I have to say that the Carnival corporation does a good job of gearing each of their cruise lines to a target market so it is pretty easy to find your own niche. For us, it is Princess by a mile. I have heard that the Carnival experiment with the "Journey" cruises has not gone well. I can see that because the crowd seemed a bit older than usual on this longer Carnival cruise and I think that demographic is looking for a more sophisticated experience with better quality food and entertainment. The decor of the ship is cold and sterile, think warehouse with 80's colours. Seating areas are pink fake leather or diner-like. I don't think I felt truly comfortable at any time. While the production shows were excellent and not to be missed, we found the rest of the entertainment was not as good. The comedy shows were hit and miss and some of the bands were of similar quality. One major complaint we had was the sound level of the bands in the Ocean Bar and at the main pool. Earsplitting! It is difficult to find a quiet place on the ship if you just want some reading and relaxation time. Even the Serenity area is too crowded to be truly quiet. The other evening entertainment shows included the requisite jugglers, magicians and hypnotists. I wonder why cruise ships insist on this type of entertainment, surely their day is done. The hypnotist show on the first sailing had to be one of the worst shows I have ever seen. We left after ten minutes. Food was okay in the dining room but service was extremely slow and this made it impossible to see much of the early entertainment. On the second leg of the trip we opted out of the dining room and ate exclusively at the buffet which allowed us to see the early evening entertainment. This worked well for us timing wise. The Lido buffet offered similar food to the dining room and I don't have too much to complain about except for the salads which were exactly the same for 21 days. Lines were often long for dinner. The Tandoori grill was excellent and was our go to place for lunch. Pizza and burgers were OK and were available throughout the day. The beverages offered were coffee, lemonade and iced tea. If you are a hot tea drinker, bring your own...the quality and selection of tea bags on the ship is poor. Desserts were nothing special and for 21 days three types of cookies were offered and I'm sure they came from a box. The ship seemed extremely crowded on sea days. It is a large ship but there didn't seem to be enough in the way of deck space or loungers on those days. Curiously, exiting the ship on port days went quickly, probably because they often had two gangways open. Embarkation also went very well, however we had priority boarding so that may have been why. There was unnecessary confusion on our turn around day, however. Back to back passengers were given in transit passes, but there were no signs directing us to the separate line and the staff on the pier made little attempt clarify the situation. Organization on the ship was very good however and I give credit to the Cruise Director, Brandon for this. We have been on many cruises and he is one of the best...And he can sing! We find that the service staff on almost all cruise ships to be consistently excellent. The staff members work incredibly hard to provide the best service . Carnival is not our preferred cruise line for a great many reasons and it is doubtful we will sail with them again...the ships are uncomfortable, crowded and extremely noisy, food is marginal to poor. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2016
We wanted to try the Journey experience since it promised a lot of extras. So we did the back to back cruises beginning and ending in New Orleans a total of 21 days. Our last experience on Carnival was the Miracle to Mexico out of ... Read More
We wanted to try the Journey experience since it promised a lot of extras. So we did the back to back cruises beginning and ending in New Orleans a total of 21 days. Our last experience on Carnival was the Miracle to Mexico out of Los Angeles which we enjoyed. Unfortunately the Dream stuffs too many cabins on the ship resulting in a lack of public space especially on bad weather days and overall crowding on the ship. The crowding was made worst by having photo booths every day blocking the only way to go from front to rear on deck 5. That means that when you leave the comedy club in the rear and want to go to the front you have a narrow passageway. This isn't good since people are lined up waiting to go into the next show. A secret....drop down on the stairs to deck 4 and you'll have clear sailing. The only real highlights of the Journey experience were the cooking demos from local chefs and local entertainers on the ship in Puerto Rico and Jamaica. On 2 nights out of 21 they tried to have local food based on the 2 local chef's recipes. It didn't work. The carnival chefs could not come close to the local chefs. For example the chefs shrimp taco included big beautiful shrimp sauteed in butter. The dinning room copy of this dish included tiny tasteless shrimps. Generally the food was average to poor in both the Lido and Main Dinning room. The items were repetitive, using cheap ingredients, and poorly prepared. This ship is designed for short sailings and no adjustments for a 21 day cruise. The only bright spot was the Indian food on the Lido deck. The comic style of the comedians was vastly different on the Dream compared to the Miracle out of LA. The LA comics were witty and appealed to my West Coast sense of humor. The Dream comics were oriented toward the largely Southern passengers and most of them were not funny to me. The cabins were nice and the cabin attendants did a good job. In fact giving the lack of public space on the Dream I suggest getting a balcony cabin since you will have to retreat to your cabin a lot to enjoy the cruise. The entertainment on board was sub-par with lackluster stage shows. Only two pools with close to 4000 passengers meant on good days at sea the pools were overcrowded. The sauna wasn't hot enough. The fitness center was way too small for 4000 people. There was no forward looking lounge at all which mean that the ship felt cramped and boxed in. We went to some unusual destinations that I enjoyed. I especially liked Bonaire and Dominica. Unique destinations. I don't know if Carnival will continue these journey cruises. The longer cruises appeal to an older crowd who are retired. And that was the bulk of the passengers. People in the 50 to 70 age range who are retired. This crowd didn't buy as many excursions, pictures, and drinks which are where Carnival makes its money. The excursions seemed overpriced and lacking creativity. Carnival did a good job for the 1700 people who were going back to back. They made getting off in Puerto Rico and back on later in the day very easy. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2015
We took Norwegian cruise many years ago to New England, was an old ship and terrible. So we had very low expectation this time. But we were pleasantly surprised by Norwegian Dawn: 1. The free restaurants Venetian is very beautiful, ... Read More
We took Norwegian cruise many years ago to New England, was an old ship and terrible. So we had very low expectation this time. But we were pleasantly surprised by Norwegian Dawn: 1. The free restaurants Venetian is very beautiful, food is great with many selections. Almost no wait for our party of 7. 2. The shows are very good and have great varieties. 3. We loved David & Laurel's classic country music. Songs like Tennessee waltz, we have not heard that song since we were in high school. 4. Buffet is good quality. 5. 4 story high Atrium is beautiful. We celebrated New Year there, they dropped hundreds of balloons and served Champagne, was so much fun. Would definitely take Norwegian cruise again in the future. Read Less

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